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Safe distancing ambassador during phase 2 of re-opening

"I have volunteered a couple of times, not just as a Safe Distancing Ambassador. I have volunteered for the hand-sanitizers distribution at Bishan CC then twice for the distribution or giving out of masks, one in my Zone 2 (Bishan RC) and one at Bishan CC. As a Baha'i, service is part of my life. There is a deep motivation to always look for opportunities to serve in the communities I live in and especially at this time, when we need to protect the vulnerable amongst us. Specific for my experience as SDA, the CB just started when I volunteered. Most people were not used to wearing mask yet and the habit of social distancing was still not in their psyche. So people were still 'learning' on what the right practice is. For example, when meeting outside with friends, how close can they get with their friends or with their colleagues. Is holding hands allowed among relatives or partners? How about parents playing with their kids at the void deck? People from the same household queuing together when buying food or at the supermarket? Which area in public spaces are allowed? What's the rule when 'Walking' to exercise, can they go with friends or relatives, should they wear mask since it is an exercise? These were some of the challenges I have to deal with as a volunteer. Most people will break off when they are aware of my presence because they see my tag and become conscious of the 'rule'. Others gave me a snide look probably thinking I'm like a surveillance camera. Good thing we went around the neighbourhood as a team. The most challenging encounter was with this 'homeless' man who was camping behind the national library in Bishan and he was not wearing mask too. We requested him not to stay there since it could be a potential risk for him and to others. He took our request negatively, lost his composure and yelled at our team that we only cared to follow the rules. He refused to leave the place. We called the security to intervene and we let them settle the case since there was a social element of 'homelessness' to it and he can be referred to appropriate channel."--Contributed by Jes Sy, as part of the "Documenting COVID-19 in Singapore" collection community call. This is a photograph of a Safe Distancing Ambassador, taken during phase 2 of re-opening. He is wearing a face mask, as well as a lanyard with a tag that reads "Safe Distancing Ambassador". Additional description by Library staff.

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All rights reserved. Jes Sy, 2020


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